October 19, 2006

A Pastor's Pen Piece

The following is something I wrote for a newsletter planned for September. Since We didn't get one done then and I want to write a new one for the newsletter to come in November I thought I would share it here.

As I sit down to write this in early August I find that I am in planning mode. I am considering ideas for Bible Study in the fall and winter. I am planning for my vacation time that starts in mid-August. I am thinking ahead to the guided retreat that I am taking while out West. And, strongly related to the first and second, I am wondering what lies ahead for Riverview United Church...

A common question asked both of individuals and organizations is “where do you see yourself/selves in 5 years?”. 5 years tends to be a common period of time in planning circles (although organizations also need to look 10, 15, or 20 years ahead as well – the larger the group the farther ahead they should look). AS we look into the future for Riverview what do we see?

As noted elsewhere in this newsletter the Board is looking at some of these questions this fall. I continue to believe that Riverview, and Atikokan as a whole, has great potential. But to tap that potential we have to look carefully at who we are and who we are called to be. We are a church; we are not a social club or a nice place to hang out. Our end goal is to grow in faith and share the fruits of our growth with those around us. What do we need to do to meet that goal?

As we openly engage in looking at the future it is my fervent hope that we will not get distracted by those things that are easy to count (bodies in the building and dollars in the bank). As a faith community those numbers are really secondary. I don’t mean they are not important, of course they are, but increasing them really is not our goal. Our goal is to grow in faith. Our goal is to spread the Good News of God’s presence and activity in the world to those who have trouble hearing it. Together we can live out that task. And God will be with us in all our endeavours.

At this start of a New Year may we all be filled with hope and excitement.

Blessings and Peace,

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